Augustine blood group system


The Augustine blood group system is a human blood group system. It includes four red blood cell surface glycoprotein antigens which are encoded by alleles of the gene SLC29A1.[1]


The protein which acts as the Augustine antigens is equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1, a transmembrane glycoprotein that mediates cellular uptake of nucleosides.[2] This protein is abundant in erythroid progenitor cells and in mature red blood cells.[3] There are four known variants of the antigen: AUG1, AUG2, AUG3, and AUG4.[1] One person may express multiple variants; AUG:1,2,4 (expressing AUG1, AUG2, and AUG4) is the common phenotype.[3]

List of Augustine antigens[1]
Number Name Prevalence Allele
AUG1 High Splice site variant
AUG2 Ata High Glu391Lys
AUG3 ATML Low p.Thr387Pro
AUG4 ATAM High p.Asn81Ser

Clinical significance

Antibodies against Augustine system antigens can be stimulated by pregnancy or blood transfusion and have the potential to cause severe hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn and acute hemolytic transfusion reactions.[1][3]

In red blood cells, the Augustine antigen protein seems to play a role in adenosine transport in cell differentiation, when immature cells become red blood cells.[3] Individuals with the null phenotype, lacking any form of the transporter protein, have mineralization around the joints, ectopic calcification, and abnormal red blood cells.[3][4]


AUG2 was first identified as Ata in 1967 as a common human antigen.[3] The SLC29A1 gene was identified in 1997 and found to encode AUG1 and AUG2 in 2015.[3] In response to the 2015 discovery, the International Society of Blood Transfusion established the Augustine blood system as the 36th human blood group system.[3] AUG3 and AUG4 were identified in 2018.[1]

The blood group system was named Augustine after the surname of the individual with the first identified anti-Ata antibody, a woman of African ancestry whose third child had a positive direct antiglobulin test at birth.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Daniels, Geoffrey (2020). "An update on the Augustine blood group system" (PDF). Immunohematology. 35 (1): 1–2. doi:10.21307/immunohematology-2020-001. ISSN 0894-203X. PMID 30908068. S2CID 85514375. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-01. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  2. ^ "SLC29A1 solute carrier family 29 member 1 (Augustine blood group) [Homo sapiens (human)] - Gene - NCBI". Archived from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Daniels, Geoffrey (2019). "The Augustine blood group system, 48 years in the making" (PDF). Immunohematology. 32 (3): 100–103. doi:10.21307/immunohematology-2019-053. ISSN 0894-203X. PMID 27834482. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  4. ^ a b Moghaddam, Mostafa; Naghi, Amir A. (September 2018). "Clinical significance of antibodies to antigens in the Raph, John Milton Hagen, I, Globoside, Gill, Rh-associated glycoprotein, FORS, JR, LAN, Vel, CD59, and Augustine blood group systems". Immunohematology. 34 (3): 85–90. doi:10.21307/immunohematology-2018-013. ISSN 0894-203X. PMID 30295501. Archived from the original on 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-28.